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Diamond Head: Oahu’s Most Iconic Landmark

Updated: Nov 29, 2018

If you do a quick online search for photos of Oahu, or even browse through old postcards, you are sure to see that one landmark is featured above all others: Diamond Head. This volcanic crater has become a defining feature of Honolulu, especially the legendary Waikiki Beach, where it can be seen jutting out behind the rows of colorful hotels.

As a focal point of Hawaiian history & legend, as well as one of the island's most beloved landmarks, Diamond Head is certainly worth a visit on your next Beach Bum Vacation. Whether you're in the area for a Hawaii beach wedding or a one-of-a-kind luxury travel experience, make sure a trip to this iconic landmark is on your itinerary.

The landmark, the myth, the legend Diamond Head might be renowned for its beauty against the the gorgeous Honolulu skyline, but it is also an important part of Hawaiian history & folklore. After all, the crater was made about half a million years ago in a volcanic explosion, so it has been an integral landmark on Oahu for centuries.

In its earlier days, Diamond Head, then known as Leahi to the local Hawaiians, was revered as a sacred spot. King Kamehameha even ordered human sacrifices in a temple on the crater's western slope to appease the gods. Later, in the 1800s, sailors arrived at Leahi & found what they thought were diamonds, giving the crater its now popular moniker of Diamond Head. Unfortunately for the sailors, the "diamonds" turned out to be calcite crystals, but their nickname for the slope stuck. 

Take a hike! As gorgeous & iconic as Diamond Head is from afar, you can indulge in some of the best views of the island if you hike to the top of the crater. But don't worry – you don't need to be an expert hiker to get to the top of Diamond Head. From top to bottom, the trail is about 1.4 miles & takes about 1.5 hours to complete. At certain points, the hike can be somewhat steep, but the trail is generally considered only a moderate trek.

Once you climb to the top of Diamond Head, you can soak up your reward: stunning 360-degree views of Oahu. This is one of the best spots to indulge in the island's scenery, so don't forget to bring a camera. Trust us when we say this is a photo op you won't want to miss on your Beach Bum Vacation in Hawaii.

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